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Bringing a Monkey into the United States

A vervet monkey rests amid branches.

Monkeys such as this vervet monkey may not be brought to the United States as pets under any circumstances.

Monkeys and other nonhuman primates (NHP) may not be imported as pets under any circumstances. Importation for permitted purposes is strictly controlled through a registration process. CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine administers these regulations.

These regulations are in place to protect U.S. citizens from severe infections that can spread from monkeys to humans. These diseases include—

  • Ebola Reston,
  • B virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1),
  • monkeypox,
  • yellow fever,
  • simian immunodeficiency virus,
  • tuberculosis, and
  • other diseases not yet known or identified.

Since 1975, the Federal Quarantine Regulations (42 CFR 71.53) have restricted the importation of NHP. Importers must register with the CDC, implement disease control measures, and may distribute NHP for only bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes, as defined in the regulations. These restrictions also apply to the re-importation of NHP originating in the United States.

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